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A Serious Lack Of Engagement

“Present but not engaged”

The talented Irish journalist David Walsh had a great turn of phrase in his paper, The Sunday Times yesterday.

He was writing about the Manchester United player Paul Pogba, who he suggested that his time ha come to move on – for himself and club.

Too often, he wrote, does the player play in a way that is ‘present but not engaged.’

What a super and profound turn of phrase.

And it perfectly sums up one of the biggest challenges for people and organisations everywhere right now. So many smart and talented people turn up to play, but they are just going through the motions and are not fully engaged. They play with their heads but not with their hearts and souls.

Research by Gallup has shown a trend in this area over the last decade with the latest studies showing that only 36% of the work force are really engaged.

In my experience, becoming dis-engaged happens to everyone in various degrees at different times and for different reasons.

It’s worth looking at engagement seriously because it has been shown that organisations with high employee engagement outperform those with low engagement by over 200% – but I think common sense tells us this anyway.

I remember meeting with a female entrepreneur, who in our initial conversations kept giving out about her business, the work she had to do and trying to bering her team ‘with her’.

On one day after a 10 minute rant, I suggested that maybe the business wasn’t the problem, she was. Cue another 5 minute rant. This time at me, understandably…

Then I asked here this:

Do you think the state of mind you’re creating will allow you to see the path that is best for you and the business?

Her: No.

Me: What if you fully engaged with where you are now? What if you pretended where you are is exactly where you are meant to be, and your focus is on making the very best of it?

Cue tumbleweed….

Silly as it may seem, this struck a chord with her and that’s what she decided to do. And over the coming weeks and months, she engaged – she played full out, leaving nothing on the ‘pitch of performance’.

Her energy immediately shifted, and as a result so too did the energy of her team and business. New ideas and opportunities emerged and within months the business had achieved a dramatic turnaround.

Same business, same external environment but something significant had changed – her inner approach and this had rippled into her outer one. What surprised her the most though was the impact this approach had on her personal life. She felt more ‘alive’ than she had in years.

No matter how much you think you don’t ‘like’ where you are (in terms of circumstances, people or things) try this experiment:

Pretend where you are is the right place and good things are coming your way.

The only thing required is to ‘Fully Engage’. Give it 24 hours and explore what happens. You might be surprised.


Do you know someone who would benefit from reading this? Feel free to share it with them. To make this super simple, I’ve included some share buttons a little further down this page.

PS – I will be sharing insights about how to improve engagement levels and it’s impact on performance at my one-off webinar, Peak Performance In The 21st Century: How To Be At Your Best In The Age Of Uncertainty. This Wednesday, 7pm Irish Time for 1 hour.

In terms of ‘bang for your buck’, this packed 60 minutes will be hands down the highest in terms of return for anything I share in 2021. It’s €29 for anyone who registers for this event, and €49 afterwards from my website. Full access to the recording afterwards. Register here.


Win More In Business And Life:
Join me for my new 3 day program in May, Sustainable High Performance. This program marks an evolution in my own approach – one that is less focused on habits and more on the key principles underlying a higher level of meaningful success. Details and registration here. Limited Places.

‘The Three (And A Half) Secrets To Success’ – New Inner Edge podcast episode out nowListen on my website or on all major podcast platforms.

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